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FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

EDITORIAL: PRESIDENT HAS SPOKEN; ROGUE COPS ARE DULY WARNED
(We hope this will stop any further plans of rogue cops and save the anti-drugs campaign from spinning out of control.)


JANUARY 31 -“The proceedings are running on parallel tracks,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the other day, in response to reports of alleged abuses committed in some police operations against the drug menace in the country. On one track, he said, is the President’s promise to protect policemen carrying out the campaign against drugs. On the other track, he said, is his declaration that he will not tolerate police abuses in the campaign and will deal severely with rogue cops. The Malacañang spokesman was moved to point out the parallel-track policy in the wake of incidents indicating that some policemen may have taken advantage of the anti-drugs campaign – Tokhang – to carry out their own private operations. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Time to step back for a closer look at drugs drive


FEBRUARY 3 -It may be time to step back and take a close look at the anti-drugs campaign after the last six months that it has been carried out in the country. President Duterte himself directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to turn over the campaign to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the wake of the kidnap-killing of a South Korean businessman right inside Camp Crame by a PNP team. The PNP organization was ordered to first clean up its ranks. The Supreme Court has also issued a Writ of Amparo with a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) for the survivor and the family members of four persons killed in a PNP “Tokhang” operation in Payatas, Quezon Ciy, in August last year. The SC directed the Court of Appeals to hear the case and receive evidence on the petition alleging that the four men were killed by the police “execution style.” In the last six months, the anti-drugs campaign has exposed a massive problem of drug addiction in the country, with a number of officials, including many mayors, involved in drug trafficking, The PNP organized teams that raided drug dens all over the country, encouraged by the unstinting support of President Duterte. The case of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo last October, however, caused the President to rethink this all-out support to the PNP. Here, it seems, was a police team that had taken advantage of the anti-drugs campaign to carry out a kidnaping for ransom, topped by the killing of the victim right at the national PNP headquarters at Camp Crame. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Elinando Cinco - Tourism gains vs ‘tokhang’ infamy, anti-Church scorn


FEBRUARY 3 -By Elinando B. Cinco
We are into an odd-even game that is winning for us only some, but if we do not change strategy, it will mean losing all! Like a successful, well-planned marketing campaign, the staging of the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant last Monday was comparable to a rousing global selling triumph. It has paid immeasurable financial and institutional dividends not only to its American franchise holder but to the host country as well, the Department of Tourism, being the local organizer. Pageant executive Chavit Singson said the local organizing group that managed the three-month preparation spent no less than $14 million. It was worth all the effort. Those in the know claimed that the Philippines has earned, by and large, $500 million worth of free publicity, measured in terms of media exposure in virtually all countries in seven continents. Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo of the Department of Tourism is deserving all of the accolades for the successful two-hour extravaganza that was beamed by satellite live to every corner of the universe. The pageant somehow provided a retaining wall that parried all the arrows thrown in the direction of this small country in the Pacific, but now sporting a king-size pride. “Dapat immediate ang benefits natin in terms of increased tourist arrivals,” Chavit told local media. For the organizers to recoup their expenses and the country benefitting by way of boosting income of all players in its tourism industry. But in my view, the bigger benefit came in the form of offsetting whatever adverse perception the outside world entertained as pictured by the deathly figures of Operation Tokhang. Included in this negative information are the constant attacks by the administration casting aspersions on the traditionally exalted Catholic Church. READ MORE...

ALSO: Trump’s wall – the US’ growing protectionist stance


FEBRUARY 5 -United States President Donald Trump announced last week that he was going ahead with his campaign promise to build a wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants. He blames immigrants from all over South and Central America for getting jobs which, he said, should go to Americans. He is building another kind of wall against refugees from the Middle East and North Africa – an anti-immigration wall of restrictions to keep out terrorists, he said. He issued an executive order suspending for three months the entry of immigrants from seven mainly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. At the end of the three months, new tough vetting rules will be enforced. It looks like Trump wants the US to withdraw from the rest of the world where it has long been a dominant influence. Before World War II, international affairs largely evolved around the European powers – Spain and Portugal in the early age of exploration and colonization. Then England and France. Germany rose and fell in World War II. In the post-war era, the US and Soviet Russia became the world’s two superpowers. The end of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the US as the lone superpower. READ MORE...


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President has spoken; rogue cops are duly warned

MANILA, FEBRUARY 6, 2017 (BULLETIN) Published January 31, 2017, 12:05 AM - “The proceedings are running on parallel tracks,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the other day, in response to reports of alleged abuses committed in some police operations against the drug menace in the country.

On one track, he said, is the President’s promise to protect policemen carrying out the campaign against drugs. On the other track, he said, is his declaration that he will not tolerate police abuses in the campaign and will deal severely with rogue cops.

The Malacañang spokesman was moved to point out the parallel-track policy in the wake of incidents indicating that some policemen may have taken advantage of the anti-drugs campaign – Tokhang – to carry out their own private operations.

READ MORE...

When the number of deaths in the campaign started ballooning some months ago, reaching 6,000 in weeks, many of them attributed to “vigilante” killings, the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by its chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa was asked to account for the unnerving statistics in a hearing conducted in August by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights then led by Sen. Leila de Lima.

Then came the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo right in Camp Crame last October by men who had arrested him in his home in Angeles City, Pampanga, and demanded payment of P5-million ransom from his wife. This moved the Senate to call for another inquiry, this one by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs headed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

At this hearing last Thursday, Lacson presented a video taken by CCTV (closed-circuit television) showing policemen planning illegal drugs in the office drawers of employees, followed by a police raid. The incident took place last October, Lacson said, but the victims were afraid to report the incident.

In the wake of these developments, it was reassuring to hear presidential spokesman Abella speaking on President Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign as running on parallel tracks – “One is he supports the police operations. Secondly, he will also not allow those who are rogue to go undealt with.”

The President himself apologized to South Korea and promised “maximum punishment” for the killers of businessman Jee. In his usual colorful rhetoric, he addressed the killer: “You will suffer. Make an escape. Then I would thank the gods. Then I can maybe send your head to South Korea.”

The President has spoken. Those who may have taken advantage of the anti-drugs campaign to pursue their own selfish interests have been duly warned. We hope this will stop any further plans of rogue cops and save the anti-drugs campaign from spinning out of control.


Time to step back for a closer look at drugs drive 0 SHARES Share it! Published February 3, 2017, 12:05 AM 2

It may be time to step back and take a close look at the anti-drugs campaign after the last six months that it has been carried out in the country.

President Duterte himself directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to turn over the campaign to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the wake of the kidnap-killing of a South Korean businessman right inside Camp Crame by a PNP team. The PNP organization was ordered to first clean up its ranks.

The Supreme Court has also issued a Writ of Amparo with a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) for the survivor and the family members of four persons killed in a PNP “Tokhang” operation in Payatas, Quezon Ciy, in August last year. The SC directed the Court of Appeals to hear the case and receive evidence on the petition alleging that the four men were killed by the police “execution style.”

In the last six months, the anti-drugs campaign has exposed a massive problem of drug addiction in the country, with a number of officials, including many mayors, involved in drug trafficking, The PNP organized teams that raided drug dens all over the country, encouraged by the unstinting support of President Duterte.

The case of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo last October, however, caused the President to rethink this all-out support to the PNP. Here, it seems, was a police team that had taken advantage of the anti-drugs campaign to carry out a kidnaping for ransom, topped by the killing of the victim right at the national PNP headquarters at Camp Crame.

READ MORE...

It caused President Duterte to stop the PNP’s Tokhang operations, and order the PNP organization to concentrate on cleaning its ranks. The PDEA will carry on the drive, with assistance from the Armed Forces.

The Supreme Court action is another phase of the reexamination of the campaign. It will look into another incident in which another group of PNP men allegedly raided a house in Payatas, Quezon City, and killed four men under suspicious circumstances. The family of those killed, fearing further police action, sought and found help from the court.

Along with his order for the PDEA to take over the anti-drugs campaign from the PNP, President Duterte said it will no longer be a six-month campaign as he said during the election campaign. It will now continue to the end of his six-year term. The problem is of such magnitude that it cannot possibly be eliminated in just six months. The order should relieve the country’s law enforcement units from undue stress carrying out such a tremendous task under such a time limit.

In any case, it is time to step back and devote some time to a review of the entire operation, see where it may have been abused by some unscrupulous elements, institute corrective measures, and then continue the campaign with all due respect to everyone’s rights, minus abuses that may have insinuated themselves into this major cleansing and reforming program of the Duterte administration.


Tourism gains vs ‘tokhang’ infamy, anti-Church scorn 0 SHARES Share it! Published February 2, 2017, 10:00 PM Elinando B. Cinco Elinando B. Cinco


By Elinando B. Cinco

We are into an odd-even game that is winning for us only some, but if we do not change strategy, it will mean losing all!

Like a successful, well-planned marketing campaign, the staging of the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant last Monday was comparable to a rousing global selling triumph.

It has paid immeasurable financial and institutional dividends not only to its American franchise holder but to the host country as well, the Department of Tourism, being the local organizer.

Pageant executive Chavit Singson said the local organizing group that managed the three-month preparation spent no less than $14 million.

It was worth all the effort. Those in the know claimed that the Philippines has earned, by and large, $500 million worth of free publicity, measured in terms of media exposure in virtually all countries in seven continents.

Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo of the Department of Tourism is deserving all of the accolades for the successful two-hour extravaganza that was beamed by satellite live to every corner of the universe.

The pageant somehow provided a retaining wall that parried all the arrows thrown in the direction of this small country in the Pacific, but now sporting a king-size pride.

“Dapat immediate ang benefits natin in terms of increased tourist arrivals,” Chavit told local media. For the organizers to recoup their expenses and the country benefitting by way of boosting income of all players in its tourism industry.

But in my view, the bigger benefit came in the form of offsetting whatever adverse perception the outside world entertained as pictured by the deathly figures of Operation Tokhang.

Included in this negative information are the constant attacks by the administration casting aspersions on the traditionally exalted Catholic Church.

READ MORE...

Time and again, world leaders have spoken against these two uncivilized flagrancies and some have, in fact, instituted light sanctions against the Philippines.

If unheeded, these atrocities will erode whatever gains we attained from hosting the Miss Universe global pageantry.

Clearly, these actions can be interpreted as negating the attractions each and every contestant from the 86 countries saw for herself not only in Metro Manila but also in the countryside she visited and where she was won over to our side.

These are our plus factors as relished by the competitors: The warm friendly smile of Filipinos; the thousands of Filipinos that lined the streets cheering their motorcades; the cool breeze of Baguio City; the Castillian ambience in Vigan; the enticing sea coasts along the calm Pico de Loro coves; and those never-to-be-forgotten native food.

Our “tokhang” image may keep some of our Southeast Asian neighbors that have experienced death and persecution from their government in the past like Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar away from our shores. The death tally in our anti-illegal drug drive is too painful a reminder to them.

Ditto with some eastern European nations that went under repression during the Soviet era.

And the government’s constant tirade against the Church will alienate our tourism lure from devout Roman Catholic countries like those in South America, France, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, among others.

These are realities that may impede success to the country’s tourism program.


Trump’s wall – the US’ growing protectionist stance 0 SHARES Share it! Published February 5, 2017, 12:05 AM 1

United States President Donald Trump announced last week that he was going ahead with his campaign promise to build a wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants. He blames immigrants from all over South and Central America for getting jobs which, he said, should go to Americans.

He is building another kind of wall against refugees from the Middle East and North Africa – an anti-immigration wall of restrictions to keep out terrorists, he said. He issued an executive order suspending for three months the entry of immigrants from seven mainly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. At the end of the three months, new tough vetting rules will be enforced.

It looks like Trump wants the US to withdraw from the rest of the world where it has long been a dominant influence. Before World War II, international affairs largely evolved around the European powers – Spain and Portugal in the early age of exploration and colonization. Then England and France. Germany rose and fell in World War II. In the post-war era, the US and Soviet Russia became the world’s two superpowers. The end of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the US as the lone superpower.

READ MORE...

It was into this fast-changing world that President Trump was elected to office, but he appears to be out to pull the US from its position of great involvement in international affairs with his concentration on the domestic problems of the US. European leaders are concerned about Trump’s criticism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which he has called “obsolete.” British Prime Minister Theresa May said she does “not agree” with Trump’s immigration restrictions, while French President Francois Hollande warned against the economic and political consequences of Trump’s protectionist stance.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller focused on Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexico border. He recalled how Europe’s “Iron Curtain” – specifically the Berlin Wall – caused so much suffering during the Cold War and how President Ronald Reagan spoke in Berlin in 1987 and challenged Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev: “Tear down this wall!” Today, Mayor Mueller said, he would ask Trump: “Don’t build this wall!”

Trump’s moves have begun to meet some opposition from inside the government. Last Monday, he fired the acting US attorney general after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration ban. Protests mounted as some US legal permanent residents were detained at airports around the country.

The anti-immigration and anti-refugee orders are indications of President Trump’s determination to concentrate on solving the nation’s domestic problems and keep out the outside world that he blames for these problems. We may see more of these orders in the coming months and years. They will effectively build a wall that will protect – but at the same time, isolate – the country.


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